Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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APPLETON -- Randy Twitchell could not believe the generosity of people -- many of them strangers -- who donated thousands of dollars to save the historic Episcopal church in Appleton, the first church erected in Swift County. Now he feels he can't let them down, as he faces the difficult challenge of preserving the historic structure he and others saved just six years ago. Professional cleaners are at work inside the former Gethsemane Church, where Twitchell was startled recently to open the doors and see black mold covering the wood like moss in a southern, blackwater swamp, and peeling pai
GRANITE FALLS -- Yellow Medicine East can continue to move forward with an estimated $10.9 million worth of health and safety and other improvements to its buildings this summer. A judge's ruling denied a request by two district taxpayers for a temporary injunction to halt the project while they challenge it in court. District Judge Randall Slieter filed the ruling on Friday. In it, he found that the school district and not the plaintiffs would have the "greater likelihood of success on the merits'' in the lawsuit.
APPLETON -- Trowel-packing archaeologists have ventured everywhere from the wild rainforests of Tasmania to the empty deserts of Mongolia to uncover the secrets of our past. Yet none has ever probed the much kinder landscape formed by prairie and lakes in Swift County. They should, for all the same reasons they've taken their trowels to the far edges of the earth. "Because we know so little about it,'' said Dr. Scott Anfinson, Minnesota state archaeologist. Anfinson spoke as he and George Holley strode atop a natural terrace Thursday along the Pomme de Terre River in Swift County.
REGAL -- The driest spot in Kandiyohi County was once known best for being "wet.'' Bob Brauchler has the numbers -- and history -- to prove it. Brauchler is a farmer and custom hay baler who lives just east of Regal in Kandiyohi County's northeast corner. He is also a volunteer weather observer with the Cooperative Weather Observing Network.
SPICER -- Citizens in Kandiyohi County can play a role in protecting locals waters from infestation by zebra mussels. Dick Sternberg, a retired fisheries biologist and popular author on all topics fishing, outlined the threat posed by zebra mussels and what we can do to keep them out of our waters during a presentation April 17 at Dethlefts Center in Spicer. The event was taped and the Willmar public access cable television system will be playing Sternberg's presentation in the coming week. It can be viewed on the local access channel on these days and times: - Tuesday, May 25 noon and 9 p
GRANITE FALLS -- City Council members on Monday approved contributing up to $1,500 toward the costs of surveying a portion of the possible Minnesota Valley Trail route between Granite Falls and Wegdahl. The citizens group known as the Minnesota River Valley Trails Initiative offered $500 toward the cost as well, said City Manager Bill Lavin. Goeff Hathaway, representing the Trails Initiative, asked the city to consider contracting with Bonnema Surveys to develop new maps on a revised route from Granite Falls to the Spartan Wildlife Management Area.
Wouldn't it be fun to roam about and discover new people and places, and send postcards back home to tell friends about it? Welcome to Eric Olson's new gig as executive producer for "Postcards.'' "I love it,'' Olson said of Postcards, a new show that Pioneer Public Television will premier at 7 p.m. Sunday. The weekly, 30-minute show will feature art, history and cultural topics from the Pioneer Television viewing area.
MONTEVIDEO -- Four significant flood events in the last 13 years have taken their toll on the historic bridges and decorative rock riprap walls in Montevideo's Lagoon Park, as well as the nearby dam on the Chippewa River. Montevideo City Council members on Monday toured the park and dam and discussed what to do about what appears to be significant damage to all of the structures, reported City Manager Steve Jones. Some of the damage to the stone bridges and decorative walls may not be readily apparent, but close inspection shows significant issues, he said. The structures were built as part
MONTEVIDEO -- Small-town police work hasn't protected Sgt. Rohn Halvorson from seeing the worst of human nature. His ability to keep bringing the best of human nature to his work is what led the Minnesota Department of the American Legion to honor the Montevideo officer with its 2010 Officer of the Year award. He is one "highly ethical guy,'' said Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher of Halvorson. The sergeant is a 30-year veteran of the force, but the chief said his experience and knowledge of the community is only a part of what makes Halvorson so valuable to the department.
WILLMAR -- Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, DFL-Minneapolis, made known her opposition to the legislation that Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, introduced to train local law enforcement officers at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement center in South Carolina. The bill -- which was not passed into law this session -- would raise an estimated $10 million for officer training by adding a $10 surcharge to traffic violations.